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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 16 page 21


A Mother's Lament

by Lisa Paulick

The heart asks pleasure first

And then, excuse from pain —

And then, those little anodynes

That deaden suffering;

And then, to go to sleep,

And then, if it should be

The will of its Inquisitor,

The liberty to die.

Watching over you
As you sleep
Takes me back
To when you were
An infant and I
Would stand over
Your crib
To make sure you
Were still breathing

Now it’s the same
As it was then
You are
So helpless
So fragile
So weak

I was supposed
To protect you
My love was yours
To cast away
And so you did

I told you
I didn’t understand
Where I went wrong

You left home
For the last time
And sought happiness
Through self-demolition

Now the virus has won
The war over your body

But I cannot go
With you
My part is to carry on
While my heart survives

By breaking
Piece by piece by piece